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. the japan/u.s. alliance has been weakened under the democratic party government. >> abe says the liberal democratic party is well prepared for the election. he says it has reviewed its principles and streamlined its policies. there were mixed reactions from people around japan. >> translator: we are suffering so much in fukushima since last year's disaster. i don't understand why politicians cannot work together. >> translator: fukushima is slowly but steadily is moving forward in its recovery. it would be regrettable if the momentum slows in the coming weeks. >> translator: i've been looking for a job for two months. i just want the government to create more jobs. >> a business leader expressed his hopes. >> translator: the private sector is trying its utmost to survive. we hope politicians will create a society and nation where those who make efforts are duly rewarded. >>> campaign managers are already busy mapping out their tactics. nhk world's senior political commentator masayo nakajima has charted the strategy of countless campaigns. i asked him earlier what voters are thinking abo
with the development of long-range his ls. u.s. researchers at johns hopkins university say the country has conducted at least two tests of large rocket mortars since its failed launch in april. one satellite image shows the removal of fuel tanks and the appearance of exhaust stains. the researchers say their science tests have been carried out. another image shows similar discolorations and stains in an object that appears to be a large rocket engine. the analysis also says construction activity is under way to launch an even bigger rocket. it warns that north korea may start a new round of nuclear and rocket tests in the first half of next year. >>> several rockets have landed near sensitive targets in the capital of afghanistan. cholaphansa narula in bangkok is following this story. >> the afghan intelligence agency is one of the locations near tuesday's attacks in kabul. the incidents underline the security challenges afghanistan faces as nato-led combat troops prepare to withdraw by the end of 2014. >> translator: it was around 6:30 in the morning. a rocket landed here and hit a car, wounding tw
an additional burden. >>> u.s. defense secretary leon panetta is urging congress to strike a deal before the end of the year. that's to avoid a fiscal cliff which may result in a significant reduction in defense spending. the fiscal cliff is a term used to illustrate drastic fiscal tightening if congress fails to reach an agreement by year's end. such a situation is feared to trigger a plunge in the economy. panetta warned that defense spending will be subject to drastic cuts if lawmakers failed to reach a consensus. >> the worst thing that could happen from my perspective is that they just kick the can down the road. all that would wind up doing is continuing to present a shadow over the defense department and for that matter, the rest of government. >> the defense department is already planning to reduce its budget by about $500 billion over the coming ten years. panetta has voiced concern that further cuts could undermine barack obama's new defense strategy that lays more emphasis on the asia pacific region. >>> japanese officials are scratching their heads about how to deal with sluggish tra
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